From the Vicar_December 2012 and January 2013
Posted by on Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Under: Vicar's Monthly Letters
Dear Friends wherever,
I was amused a few weeks ago after the service to hear a child chatting to his mother. I was in the vestry taking off my robes and they were just outside the open door, the child watching everything, as children do. Suddenly the child said to his mother, "That's where they put their costumes." Children often have a different take on things!
It certainly set me thinking in the days following. If it's a costume, then the service is an act, with me and the Choir as the actors, and the congregation as the audience being entertained. It also means that when we take our costumes off, we can go back to being normal people, stop pretending to be something, perhaps stop pretending to be Christians. Of course, there is something of the show and acting about a church service, and many clergy have something of the actor about them. But I have continually to remind myself what it's all about, that it is NOT an act, that it is for real. And, of course, just because the congregation aren't wearing costumes, that doesn't or shouldn't mean that they are a passive audience. That's partly why I have started to try to involve them during my sermons by asking questions
And now, after that child's comment I must keep on telling myself that when I take my "costume" off at the end of the service, that's when the real thing begins: acting out my faith for real!
A good thing for me to remember over Christmas and at the beginning of a new year.
Best wishes to you,
Vicar's Monthly Letters
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